Monday, March 2, 2009

Almost Home...

I know that Lent is a time of sacrifice and penance, but I am finding it very hard to contain my excitement for Easter Vigil. During the Easter Vigil, I will be brought into full communion with the Catholic Church.

I have spent the better part of my life serving God the best way that I knew how. I have been a member of many different Non-Catholic denominations - Lutheran, Baptist, Non Denominational, Pentecostal. I am thankful and grateful for many of the things that they taught me. I now realize that they have all prepared me for joining the Catholic Church, which is the fullness of truth.

This week, I will be celebrating two major events in a Catholic Convert's life:

Rite of Sending
Rite of Election

The Rite of Sending occurs on the first Sunday of Lent. It is during this time that all of the catechumen , as well as their sponsor, are brought forth in front of the congregation during Mass. The priest asks the sponsor if the catechumen is ready to enter the Catholic Church. In this manner, the sponsor, is speaking on behalf of the congregation, vouching that the catechumen is ready to enter into the Catholic Church.

Catholicism is a very communal faith. Unlike other faith traditions that I have been a member of in the past, instead of heeding the altar call or walking up when the pastor invites you to become a member of their church, you have to be brought into the fold by someone who is already a part of the fold. In one dimension, they themselves represent the whole Catholic Church and exercise right judgement as to whether or not, the catechumen is ready to enter the Catholic Church.

The Rite of Sending is all about being sent to the Bishop, for the Rite of Election. All of the Catholic parishes will send all of their catechumens to the Bishop. During this time, the Bishop will recognize the catechumens and candidates who desire full communion with the Catholic Church.

Please continue to pray for me as I continue my journey home.

God bless...